Recognized for its ongoing efforts toward quality child care, the Child Care Licensing Program (CCLP) under the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs (DCCA) has been chosen to receive Individualized Technical Assistance (ITA) from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA) and the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).
Child Care Licensing Program Supervisor Gordon B. Salas stated that the CNMI Child Care Licensing Program (CCLP) submitted an application with ECQA in conjunction with NARA to address targeted improvements moving forward.
“I am pleased to report that of the five states, territories, and tribes, DCCA-CCLP was selected through the application process to participate in the individualized technical assistance relative to the 2018 Best Practices for Child Care Regulation: Self-Assessment and Planning for Child Care Licensing Systems,” Salas said.
Salas added that the technical assistance that will be provided is based in Texas and will be assisting his staff in regards to improving standards to child care licensing.
ECQA Senior Technical Assistance Specialist Michele Adams recently notified the CCLP to participate in phase one of the ECQA Center’s Best Practices for Child Care Regulation ITA where the CCLP team will move at their own pace to review the guidance document and complete the assessment of the CNMI regulatory program, outline a plan for follow up on gaps identified through the assessment, and set priorities for improving CNMI regulatory practices.
According to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Administrator Maribel Loste, the ITA provides very focused and specific technical assistance support such as information, network resources and training.
“This assistance complements our long-term strategy to be aligned with the national standard of high quality child care and the latest best practices. Our CCLP supervisor Mr. Salas is taking the lead on this movement and we are very excited to continue to build our capacity,” Loste said.
Secretary of Community and Cultural Affairs Robert H. Hunter stated that child care regulation in the Commonwealth is an ongoing process, with only twelve states having participated in this best practices process so far.
“The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance brings together what our CCDF and CCLP team have been working on. From the launching of the QRIS in 2016 and increasing training to our local providers, this technical assistance opportunity aligns the CNMI with best practices in the nation. We look forward to this learning process to build upon our current resources and priorities,” Hunter said.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres reiterated the importance of building local capacity and that the CCDF and CCLP are essential to assisting families gain access to quality childcare.
“I am very pleased to see that this division is receiving technical training which will help our child care providers improve their skills and give parents a better peace of mind. Creating safe, affordable, and reliable childcare is not an easy task and I commend the CCLP and CCDF for strengthening their program to benefit our entire Commonwealth and the families who are seeking to improve their lives through education or career training. Seeking out existing training and resources will definitely help improve our services to our community and I look forward to the growth of this program, Governor Torres said.
The Early Childhood National Centers for Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) promotes excellence through high-quality, practical resources and approaches. They are designed to build early childhood program capacity and promote consistent practices across communities, states, Tribes, and territories. These Centers bring together the knowledge and skills from Head Start, child care, and our health partners across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
NARA is an international non-profit professional association founded in 1976 representing all human care licensing, including adult residential and assisted living, adult day care, child care, child welfare and program licensing for services related to mental illness, developmental disabilities and abuse of drugs or alcohol. (PR)